Riddles of a Lost Boy
I am something—
is my native heirloom. my ancestors,
shifting lands &
shape-shifting tongues. all oduduwa’s milk & honey
not sufficing to quench their thirst
for new land.
the result: a minor(ity) problem.
a leaf has fallen too far
from its tree. a people in Kogi
torn apart from their heritage
by the thin lines that shape states.
wandering is a family heirloom.
from my culture as a seed
in my father’s balls
in search of greener pastures
to plant me. which is to say
I was a nomad before I was born.
drifting through cities: Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, and Kaduna.
two decades after, I am a jack of many lands
but a citizen of none.
a foreigner in every city,
with no land to call me
its own. when I return to Yagba in December
they ask for my father’s name. which is to say they don’t know me.
when I speak,
they ask where I’m from. my accented dialect is the joke
I tell my aunts at Christmas. whenever I talk,
they ask what I am. & I develop a stutter.
in front of a mirror & become
a contortionist. bending my form into the shape
of a question mark.
asking myself: what
Asíwájú Babatimehin is a Civil Engineering student at the University of Ibadan. He’s a Nigerian essayist, poet, and dramatist. He is currently a member of The Poetic Collective, TPC. His works have appeared in Brittle Paper, Synchronized Chaos, and Moksha Review.
Writing apart, he is a member of the most prestigious Literary and Debating society in Sub-Saharan Africa, The Sultan Bello Hall LnD club. He enjoys engaging in intellectual discourse.
You can contact him at: [email protected].